A judge decided last week that an Illinois hit and run driver will serve time under house arrest and pay restitution to the victims’ families. The hit and run driver, Ryan LeVin, is the son of an extremely wealthy Chicago-area family who owns a Schaumburg-based costume jewelry company. Chicago car accident attorneys and other legal experts have expressed concern that the sentence is incredibly light and may have been offset by the undisclosed – but likely very large – sum paid to the victims’ families outside of court.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, “LeVin admitted to being behind the wheel of his $120,000 Porsche 911 Turbo when it jumped a sidewalk and killed Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48, as they were walking to their beachside hotel Feb. 13, 2009.”
The mens’ widows had filed a wrongful death suit against LeVin and indicated that because their husbands were both the sole income earners in their families that they have suffered significant financial hardships since the mens’ deaths. Chicago car accident attorneys know that often wrongful death suits are a combination of compensation for many different losses – including expenses related to the death, loss of benefits and future income, loss of companionship, and, possibly, punitive damages.
LeVin’s lawyer indicated in court documents that “The wives and children of the deceased were significantly and permanently impacted by this incident, and they have indicated … that there exists a great necessity for restitution which the defendant can, and will, make, if permitted a sentence devoid of incarceration,” the Tribune reports. The undisclosed settlement amount that the families have received settles the previously filed wrongful death lawsuit.
However, because LeVin was on probation in Illinois at the time of the 2009 crash due to a 2006 Chicago car accident with a Chicago police officer that incited a Kennedy Expressway chase, he may not be entirely off the hook. An Illinois corrections spokeswoman has indicated that Illinois officials will attempt to bring LeVin back to Illinois to face the parole violation stemming from the aforementioned 2006 incident. The state will also try to get LeVin’s parole revoked and send him back to prison.
Chicago car accident attorneys are able to help you if you or a loved one have been effected by a Chicago car crash or Chicago wrongful death. While no amount of damages awarded can take away the pain and suffering of losing a loved one to Chicago wrongful death, they can help you deal with the financial burdens and aftermath left behind after a Chicago car accident or wrongful death.